Sunday, June 3, 2012

When Evilcat Almost Died

The end of 2009 sucked for us. A lot. Z got sick, I got Swine Flu, my horse colicked, cars broke down, and we had a disaster a week for almost three months. In the midst of all this, our townhouse was going into foreclosure and the owner was desperately trying to sell it, so we had realtors attempting to show the place and occasionally trying to break in. We were house-hunting and then packing and moving while trying to cope with everything else, and that is probably why we didn't realize that Evilcat had stopped eating until she was very, very sick.

When Evilcat collapsed in the middle of the night we realized something was wrong and rushed her to the state-of-the-art emergency vet. They got her stabilized and hydrated and then came in to talk to us.

Evilcat's food strike had led to fatty liver syndrome, and the only cure was to get her to eat. Although we could convince her to eat one bite from a freshly-opened can of food, it wasn't enough. The vet wanted to surgically implant a tube that would extend from her stomach to an opening in her neck, so we could tube-feed her for the next 8 weeks. This sounded like a recipe for horror and disaster. I had just begun a two-week vacation from work, so I decided to try force-feeding her.

It took a little bit of adjusting, but I quickly figured out that she couldn't spit out wet cat food if it was watered down sufficiently and squirted into the back of her mouth via syringe. If I gave her more than a teaspoon at a time though, she would puke it back up almost immediately. In order to get a can and a half of food into her every 24 hours, I had to pry the cat open and shove food down her every 30 minutes around the clock. For a week.

My sister and her newborn baby got more sleep. However, Evilcat's strength returned, and soon she was able to fend off my attempts to cram calories into her. Fortunately, this was also when she started eating on her own again. Clearly evil is directly proportional to health. Evilcat has made a full recovery, but Z is now convinced that she is on the brink of death every time she ceases her ferocity for a moment.

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